Belonging: Theme of the Month

As we begin the month of June, as communities and businesses reopen
partially, I am wrestling with how our congregation might take good care of
each other, while wanting to be face-to-face, to hear each other’s voices (without Zoom or phone), to breathe the same air: Oh, no! Not that!

Our national Unitarian Universalist Association recommends that we
anticipate Zooming services and programming over the next year.

Each of us has our own response (or many): From gratitude for their careful, science-based assessment and recommendation, to disappointment wearing all sorts of emotional costumes. Anger: Nobody can tell us/me what to do! Intellectual opposition-ism. Pouting. Resignation. Denial. Affecting disinterest. Acceptance (i.e., the 5 stages of grief).

We thought pandemic experience would be intense but short lived. It would be hard, but do-able. And we were all in the same boat, right? This wasn’t
personal.We paced ourselves for a few weeks, then a month, then two. People started to push back. But now, asked to accept a year without sitting
shoulder to shoulder at the round tables in Coe Hall,without laughing and singing and talking together,we feel a deeper sense of what we’ve lost, of what we love.

What do we need as we open to the grief of loss? We need to feel the sadness and the love beneath it, love for our congregation, for each person, for all the little ways – the rituals – of being together – greeting each other, bringing food to share, drinking coffee or tea together, listening, disagreeing, opening our minds beyond ourselves, working on puzzles, cleaning the kitchen, tearing up, laughing.

This pandemic will not last forever. Our congregational leadership is weighing how to proceed. We know we’ ll continue Zooming services
through June with Oberlin UU.We’re working on a plan for summer and beyond. If you’d like to be part of those conversations, you are very welcome.

Meanwhile, our theme for June is Belonging – because we all wonder where we belong now. Sunday services this month reflect on concentric
circles of belonging: Belonging to the interdependent web of existence, belonging to country and community, belonging to family and friends, belonging to our deepest,wisest self.

How are we balancing and nurturing these circles? How are we allowing ourselves to be cared for?

I see OUUC stepping up: I celebrate the members who are creating Caring Circles to reach out during these changing times, affirming who we are to each other, our relationships as the heart of our congregation. (And if you’d like to help, we welcome you!)

I’m grateful for the enthusiasm of those participating in Zoom services. I wonder how to reach those who aren’t on Zoom?

I welcome your creative energy in moving forward together.

Rev. Mary